Captain Valery Semenov will not be going to sea for a while. He lost his £50k job after he was noticed to be having problems berthing the 8,045 DWT general cargo ship Balu C in Southampton and subsequently breathalysed and found to have three time the legal limit of alcohol.
Balu C is a 2008-built general cargo ship registered in Antigua and Barbuda. She was on passage from Amsterdam to Southampton with a cargo of grain with a crew of twelve.
Semonov pleaded guilty at Southampton Magistrates Court, was given a fine of £2000 and a rather modest costs of £100 and remanded in custody for up to 45 days, or at least until the fine is paid. Captain Jeremy Smart, head of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Enforcement Unit says: “The Master of a ship bears a heavy responsibility. To carry out this responsibility whilst under the influence of alcohol is grossly irresponsible. It is fortunate that on this occasion the vessel berthed safely.
“The MCA will always pursue such cases with great vigour.”
Booze and seafarers have been closely associated for centuries,of course. As Denmark has complained, there has been a particular problem with Eastern European officers.